Penang Nasi Kandar
Nasi Kandar is a popular northern Malaysian dish, which hails from Penang. It was brought to Malaysia 70 years ago from India when Indian Muslim immigrants roamed the port and dusty streets of colonial Penang, lugging around heavy baskets laden with home cooked dishes and rice.

The word Nasi Kandar, came about from a time when nasi (rice) hawkers or vendors would kandar (balance) a pole on the shoulder with two huge containers of rice meals.

The name has always been and now the word Nasi Kandar is seen on most Tamil Muslim or "Malaysian Mamak" restaurants and Indian-Muslim stalls offering rice meals.


In the early days, Nasi Kandar seller was famous for wearing their dirty sarong, served meal with cheap utensils and broken chairs and stools. Today, the image has completely reversed and have now made way for uniformed waiters and waitresses, shinning clean restaurant, organize, and best of all... serving Good Food!


Photo by Flickr


Nasi Kandar is a meal of steamed rice which can be plain or mildly flavored, and served with a variety of curries and side dishes. The rice for a nasi kandar dish is often placed in a wooden container of about three foot high, passing it on a unique aroma. The rice is often accompanied by side dishes such as deep-fried chicken, curried spleen, sliced beef, fish roe, fried prawns or fried squid. A combination of curry sauces is poured on the rice. This is called 'banjir' (flooding) and imparts a wide flavor to the rice.

Despite the fact that, there are lots of Nasi Kandar restaurant in Penang, Pelita Nasi Kandar stand among the best in Penang. Pelita Nasi Kandar is the largest chain nasi kandar restaurant in Malaysia that came a long way from being a small stall within a coffee shop at Chai Leng Park, Perai. However, in less than 20 years Pelita Nasi Kandar has now more than 26 branches comprising more than 5 Malaysia states, There is even one that open at Chennai, India.